During the Inaugural Meeting and Seminar of the GABC held in Paris 18 to 19 April 2016, members identified priorities for a transition towards a low-carbon, energy efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector. To that end, members established 5 Work Areas: Awareness and Education, Public Policies, Market Transformation, Finance, and Measurement, Data and Accountability.

GABC members also agreed on two ad-hoc frameworks: a Global Roadmap for the transition towards a low-carbon, energy efficient, and resilient buildings and construction sector; and the Global Status Report, an annual report focused on GHG emission development in the buildings and construction sector.

Current Situation

The challenge: doubling investment in low-carbon buildings & construction

The buildings and construction sector is an economic powerhouse. Close to half the world’s wealth is invested in buildings, making their resilience a topic of major importance. Increasing energy efficiency financing represents one of the largest and most important opportunities for countries to expand economic growth and job creation, along other multiple benefits, such as energy costs reduction for businesses and households of all income levels, air pollution cuts, and enhanced national security. Innovative solutions exist for the financing of energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, in collaboration with the public sector. However, in order to ensure the buildings and construction sector contributes to well-below 2oC global warming, current levels of investment in energy-efficient buildings need to at least double between now and 2050.

Increased investment in sustainable and energy-efficient buildings will require policy action by countries with support from public and private finance. Among public financial institutions, development banks have taken a leading role in the acceleration of sustainable buildings in developing countries by providing the needed funding, as well as institutional and capacity development at different levels. In the private sector, the market’s full potential can be unlocked through the uptake of finance frameworks which enable the building sector to measure and report simply, affordably, and effectively a building’s environmental impact, with its carbon footprint, and better indoor quality and resilience.

Increasing flows of financial resources to scale up energy efficiency in buildings also requires a parallel focus on measurement and accountability. Valuations and global investment decisions crucially depend on transparency and comparability of data to enable informed decision-making.


The Finance Work Area will develop the key implementation actions which can scale up finance for energy-efficient and sustainable buildings drawn from the work of the UN Environment Finance Initiative, the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement - AFD), The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the International Energy Agency (IEA), The Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG), and leading development finance actors. 

Activities & Support

The Finance Work Area will engage financial institutions, investors, and governments committed to achieving a well-below 2oC path for the building sector, to:

Illustrate how energy efficiency in buildings and construction can assist countries in realizing their NDCs, and the need to engage the financial sector to support them.

Identify investment barriers and existing solutions, including those which are under development such as new industry frameworks and global projects for the mobilization of financing of energy-efficient buildings and refurbishments, in collaboration with banks and the public sector. It will also present country- and city-specific initiatives.

Promote collaboration between public and financial sectors to address systemic risk and help unlock the market’s full potential.

Drive harmonization and comparability to address data gaps and improvements to building codes, housing policies, property standards, and evaluations of performance as essential elements to create enabling conditions for accelerating critical investments.


    The Finance Work Area is initially convened by the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). The Work Area is led by the following persons:

    Matthew Ulterino, UN Environment. Email: matthew.ulterino@un.org

    Benoît Lebot, International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). Email: benoit.lebot@ipeec.org

All Work Areas welcome new participants. Please contact the GABC Secretariat for more information at global.abc@un.org.